Rambling and a Paradigm Excerpt

“So,” –  have you noticed I start most of my blogs that way?

so what

 

I couldn’t resist and isn’t it fun when you can crack yourself up?

I’ll let you in on a little secret – I’m always grateful I’m easy to amuse.

Let me start with the word: Anecdote. Have you noticed if you say  and read it a dozen times – it becomes an alien word? Just a little food for thought from Vonnie Land.

As most of you know from my social site posts, I’m working on my edits for, Paradigm.

So, (see what I did there?) here is my obligatory pictures of my edit shark:

sharks-5

Why, you may ask? Because since I’ve posted one for every edit I’ve gone through (and this is my 6th) I can’t ever think of the word “edit” and not see one in my head.

Go on, you can check if you like and if not, trust me.

Actually, this one isn’t as bad as say – my first.

But I have PTSD over that one.

Moving on…

Here is what I’m actually doing. I LOVE colored pens, don’t you?

edits paradigm photo

Side note: I’m running my ghost app in the background while I’m writing this… Damn, the spirits are busy today. These are the words popping up. “Satisfied” “Serve.” Not to mention the plethora of red, blue, and yellow dots popping up next to me. And now, “Fix” (Sandy is fixing the sliding glass door right now) So make of it what you will.

To tell you the truth (and I always do) That’s kind of creeping me out.  And if your head isn’t spinning yet and IF you want to check out my ghosts app blog (with pics)  it’s right HERE.

ANY-WAY – back to Paradigm. The one I’m editing. You can admit it, you saw the shark, right?

I’ll set it up for you – I haven’t actually written out the blurb yet. You don’t even have to pretend to be surprised. The characters are Jazz & Gypsy (say that fast five times) and I’m going to share the prologue with you.

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Paradigm

ˈperəˌdīm/  ‘pair,ah,dime/

noun: A model, pattern, template, standard, prototype or archetype. A set of established beliefs. 

“Bad things happen in the dark…

…Leave the lights on.

From her desk, Jazz Miller watched the wall monitor designated for camera three, located in the former hospital’s basement. The areas designated for the tours were pitch-black, but her view of them had night vision and the latest audio capabilities.

She heard Maeve, their guide working that night, whisper loudly, “What was that?”

Jazz hit a button on the control panel in front of her. She counted off in her head—one, two, three—before a door slammed and reverberated like a gunshot. As a unit, the amateur wannabe ghost hunters flinched and shouted.

One of the women began to cry. Jazz hated when that happened, but her job required her to run with it. And Jesus, she needed this job or she and Dad would be out on the street. The responsibility of paying the rent, groceries, utilities, and a variety of other bills fell on her shoulders most of the time.

His drinking had become worse, and he was in a stupor for the better part of each day.

Jazz could only be grateful Dad wasn’t a mean drunk. When her mother ran off, he broke. Her wonderful strong hero snapped under the heartbreak and betrayal. Jazz wasn’t immune from her own baggage but Dad was forced into an early retirement, and what he received each month was never enough to carry their household.

Hence, her working in this freaky-ass place.

She realized she’d missed her last cue when Maeve’s voice rose in volume. The group walked down a predestinated hall and Jazz activated the machine which caused a cold wind to rush around the group. In reality, forced air pumped through the doorframes.

“Oh, my God!” a woman screamed. “Something pulled my hair.”

She checked the camera and recalled several tours involving hair pulling, especially women with long blond hair and blue eyes and it made her glad her own was short and brown. Her eyes were as well but Stacy, her girlfriend, described them as tawny. Jazz had always thought it was a sissy description but didn’t have the nerve say it. She was drawn out of her thoughts by another excited shout by a man exclaiming he was freezing and something must be trying to manifest.

She sincerely hoped not.

Over the speaker, Jazz heard wailing and footsteps thunder away from the area. For the stragglers remaining, a loud groan emanated from a closet in a room Maeve randomly on purpose made sure they walked into.

And that’s a wrap. She absently spun her office chair and waited for the buzzer to sound the all clear. It signaled the tourists were finished for the night

Jazz had a hard time comprehending people paid to be terrified during these tours. She knew it wasn’t real, yet the screams played an endless loop in her mind. Nightmares and wet pants didn’t appeal to her sense of adventure. What the hell did they get out of it other than a T-shirt that claimed they’d survived a night in the most haunted sanitarium in America?

What if someone had a heart attack during the tour? She wondered if the current owners had insurance for that shit. Then again, her minimum-wage contribution to the job wasn’t privy to that information. God, she had to get out of this place.

It had been their last group of the night, and Jazz’s eyes burned with fatigue while she gathered up her stuff and waited for Eric, her ride home.

The place gave her the serious creeps, and she never stayed late if she could help it.

If they asked her, and they didn’t, the owners didn’t need to fake anything anyway.

In her opinion, it was haunted enough.

She’d seen the shows, in addition to legitimate scientific studies they’d filmed at this location, along with their EVPs and photographic evidence.

They had all convinced her she wouldn’t and shouldn’t walk these halls alone.

She despised that the offices and gear for the staged encounters were hidden in the basement. As if it weren’t scary enough, her equipment constantly screwed up. Again, they hadn’t asked her, but she could have told them, as many genuine psychics had, angry spirits could and did drain energy from electronics. Why were they always surprised?

In her opinion, the whole setup was a beacon, and it created a vortex for the real scary stuff. The more fear created, it seemed as if more shit happened.

What’s taking him so long? Jazz put on her coat and scarf, sat down again, and waited while she fiddled with her gloves. The graveyard shift sucked. She was always tired and felt her life revolved around the attempt to catch up on her sleep. She missed going out with her friends whose schedules were directly opposite of hers. Jazz rubbed, then closed her eyes while she waited for her ride home.

She startled when she realized she’d dozed off and frantically checked her watch.

Holy shit! Three hours had passed. Where was Eric? Jazz shot up from the chair, grabbed her phone, horrified to find she hadn’t turned it back on after the shift ended. Management recently banned them during working hours, and after the last employee got fired, she hadn’t dared to push it. Jazz fumbled it, and her eyes widened when she’d seen she missed the text that he went home sick six hours ago.

No, no, no, no.

Anxiety continued to bloom rapidly in her chest as call after call to other co-workers went unanswered. Like her, most employees got the hell out of this place as fast as they could.

Jazz’s nerves kicked into a higher gear as she considered she just might be stuck in the basement in one of the most haunted sanatarium in America.

Alone.

She stood at the door and reached for the knob several times, while trying to talk herself into opening it.

Jazz heard a loud squeak behind her, looked over her shoulder, and caught the sound of a metal desk screeching across the floor. That made up her mind, and she bolted out of the room. That wasn’t any particular trick they had on tap in the control room.

Though her hands were shaking, she managed to turn the phone’s flashlight app on, peered down the hall, and made her way to the exit.

She hurried her pace when the noise of a creaky wheelchair came from somewhere behind her. It had to be a joke, she thought. It was all set up to fuck with her. Even as she thought it, she concluded no one she knew would be so cruel. She tried to rationalize the computer was malfunctioning but knew she’d turned it off after her shift. Against her will, memories of evidence she’d seen from the studies intruded, freezing her blood.

There was no sign of anyone else remaining in the building. Of course, after three hours, not one employee she knew would dare to be alone in the wretched, horrible place. Maybe one of the fringe groups of ghost hunters had illegally broken in. That had happened before.

She never thought she’d be praying for an intruder.

But better human than…other, she decided.

Jazz tried to steady her heart rate, but something in her knew, just knew it wasn’t trespassers. They usually came along with equipment and flashlights, and she heard no giggling, talking, or the horrible sound of their spirit boxes that claimed the dead were talking to them.

Jesus, those freaked her out.

She made it to the exit, and her pulse banged when she found it locked. Even worse than realizing she’d have to go upstairs and through another hall was the feeling she wasn’t alone.

She turned from the basement’s exit and backtracked toward the stairwell. Worried about what might be in front of her, Jazz was afraid to look back. She swung the heavy metal door and ran up two treads at a time, grateful for her long stride. Jazz reached the first floor, and the sound of the cellar door slamming below caused her to stumble against the wall.

She quickly righted herself, ignored the sharp pain in her elbow, ran around the corner, and sped up.

She saw shadows in every corner and in each open doorway, but it was hard to keep convincing herself her eyes were playing tricks on her. Logic refused to take hold when she heard scuttling coming from someplace behind her. Her mind refused to attempt to explain the noise.

Jazz was not at all ashamed of being terrified.

She wanted to cry with relief when she saw the neon green exit sign and the glow in the small reinforced window lit by the parking lot streetlight. She escalated into a full sprint, hit the door’s metal bars at full speed, and was knocked back several feet onto her ass. The phone flew out of her hand.

This can’t be happening.

Terror battled her denial as she crawled to where it landed but as soon as she reached for the phone, the screen turned black.

She began to tremble when an evil demonic laugh was followed by a dragging sound from one of the rooms on her left.

Don’t turn around. Don’t look.

Jazz got up and pounded on the doors until her knuckles split. She noticed the blood seconds before she felt sharp claws skitter down her neck to the base of her spine.

And began screaming.

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Ta-da!

Hope you enjoyed it enough to keep rooting me on.

Wow, this was a LONG post.  I hope everyone has a great day, week, month – as I won’t be seeing you till the end of May.

Oh, I almost forgot!

Here’s Jove and Andi’s podcast on the The Lesbian Talk Show – where they have super nice things to say about me!

Thanks guys!

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6 comments

  1. Wow! Great story. I will be watching for this to become available. Take a well deserved break, energize the muse, and fingers. Know lots of us are sending love and energy your way.

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  2. I have a dark and a light green pen, a bright pink one, a purple one, and the obligatory thousands of blue, red, and black, ones … one can never have too many pens … which doesn’t include the metallic gold and silver ones, and my set of 20 medium point sharpies! 😀

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  3. I love coloured pens almost as much as coffee. Almost. As for Paradigm excerpt… okay after reading it I slept with the light on. I get easily spooked! I’ve loved all of your other books, so I’m sure I’ll love this… keep plugging away i can’t wait! (And i will read it first thing in the morning in bright sunshine in the middle of summer when i know the house will be filled with people for the foreseeable future!)

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